Letters: Cardboard Arcade And Encores

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish read emails from listeners about encores and a California boy's cardboard arcade.

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Time now for your letters. And, first, to Bob Mondello's story about one theatrical phenomenon: the encore.


Bob talked about famous encores by Pearl Bailey and Ethel Merman, not to mention Jay-Z and Kanye West, and he reminded New York City listener Harold Levine(ph) of another show-stopping moment.

CORNISH: Mr. Levine writes, I never truly understood the term, show-stopper, until I went to a benefit performance of "Annie, Get Your Gun" on Broadway with Bernadette Peters for the Gay Men's Health Crisis in 1999. The guys in the audience were crazy for Bernadette.


BERNADETTE PETERS: (Singing) No, you can't get a man with a gun.

CORNISH: Mr. Levine continues, after she finished "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun," the applause lasted so long and was so passionate that she had to break character, come to the front of the stage and say I love you, too, guys, but we have to finish the show.


PETERS: (Singing) And you can't shoot a male in the tail like a quail. Oh, you can't get a man with a gun.

SIEGEL: Well, now, a boy with an arcade. On yesterday's program, we told you about nine year old Caine Monroy. He built his own arcade with games like skee-ball and tickets and he made it out of cardboard.

CORNISH: Caine spent most of his time playing at the arcade all by himself, but then filmmaker Nirvan Mullick changed all that. He came by to play and then he invited a couple hundred other people.

NIRVAN MULLICK: Did you know they were coming?


MULLICK: Are you ready to run your arcade?


MULLICK: All right. What'd you guys come here to do?

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: We came to play.

SIEGEL: That story touched Dana Graham(ph) of Tucson. She writes, the determination and ingenuity of small children often goes unnoticed. I have fond memories of building similar things as a child and watching my daughter do the same when she was younger.

CORNISH: And Eric Allejandro(ph) of Alhambra, California, writes: So often, stories in the news make me lose a bit of my faith in humanity. This one restored it.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for all of your letters. And here's one final note to listeners, especially the younger ones. It's about NPR's Backseat Book Club. This month, we're reading "Seedfolks" by Paul Fleischman and you can send your questions for the author to BackseatBookClub@NPR.org.

CORNISH: And we need your vote. We've partnered with the Children's Choice Book Awards so you can pick our June book.

SIEGEL: Just go to NPR.org/BackSeat to learn more.

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